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Goal Centered Learning
The purpose of this document is to articulate the relationship between 4-H project areas, goals, exhibits, and evaluation when a 4-H member chooses to exhibit at a County Fair. It also seeks to clarify the philosophy of the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program to staff, county fair judges, and other caring adults about the balance we attempt to achieve between goal-centered learning and exhibit standards.

The skill of goal setting and working to achieve a goal is something 4-H strives to teach and practice in all parts of the educational program. How can adults help 4-H members understand how project area goals relate to exhibits goals, how exhibits are evaluated by judges, and how these pieces fit together? Parents and volunteers help 4-H members learn how to set goals and help them find ways to demonstrate their learning through an exhibit. Judges help 4-H members think about which standards apply to their exhibits based on their goals and then discuss how well the 4-H member met those standards.
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Preparing Youth for the Fair
We are not looking for an extraordinary project, we are looking for extraordinary learning! It is important that in preparing youth for the fair that 4-H volunteers and staff utilize the Experiential Learning Model and are able to reflect the “Do, Reflect, Apply” process that they have utilized. Youth need to be able to demonstrate not only their exhibit but what they have learned and how they reached their goal.
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Exhibit Judging Experience
We’ve interviewed an experienced exhibit judge for their insight into the judging process. Volunteers can use this information to help youth prepare for the fair. This is an excellent resource for 4-H judges and 4-H volunteers.
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